How Long Do You Have To Wait To Put Food in a New Refrigerator – Explained

new refrigerator

If you just got a new refrigerator and you’re curious about how long you should wait before putting your food in it, you’re in the right place. We’re here to walk you through everything there is to know about using your new fridge the right way and avoiding any risks!

When to put food in your fridge may sound like a trivial and unimportant thing, but we assure you it is not. If this is your first time purchasing a fridge and you think that placing your food in it right away is okay, we’re here to tell you that it’s not.

You have to be careful with the way you do this if you don’t want to experience issues, such as your expensive groceries going bad and similar. Luckily, you don’t have to struggle or spend hours trying to figure out how to do this.

We provide you with a short and user-friendly guide that will tell you everything you need to know about how to use your new fridge the right way! Let’s not waste any more time and hop right into it.

How Long Should I Wait To Load My Fridge With Food?

put food in fridge

The exact answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including brand, quality, features, and more. However, there is a general recommendation that you can follow when it comes to the wait time for this.

Before loading your groceries into your new refrigerator, you should typically wait for around 2 to 24 hours.

The reason why it’s recommended to wait is that your new fridge will take some time to start operating properly. It needs time to reach maximum functionality, as well as an accurate internal temperature so that it can cool water and produce the first batch of ice.

If you’re wondering what an ideal temperature for your fridge should be, that really depends on the brand in question.

40 °F or below is considered to be an optimum temperature, but your fridge may work differently, so you should check with the manufacturer in case you aren’t sure.

What Happens If I Put Food in My Fridge Right Away?

food in fridge

There are a few risks related to you putting your food in the fridge before it starts working properly and reaching the desired temperature.

For example, if you put warm food in your fridge, it will probably be sitting in the temperature danger zone for a while, which will result in it going bad.

On the other hand, if you put cold food from one fridge into your new one before 2-24 hours pass, the new fridge won’t be able to keep it cool and, again, it will go bad.

The risk is especially high when it comes to frozen foods. These foods must be kept at very cool places, such as your freezer, and not keeping them in a cool enough place will not only result in the foods getting spoiled, but you will also have an enormous mess to clean once they thaw.

How Long Should I Wait Before Plugging My Fridge In?


Another thing you should keep in mind is that your new fridge shouldn’t be plugged in right away either.

Waiting to plug your fridge in and waiting to put food into it may sound like a waste of time, but if you want it to function properly and not experience any issues, you should follow the protocol.

The reason why you should wait is that your fridge gets jostled around during transportation, so the compressor and oil that the compressor needs to function properly get jostled around as well.

Your fridge will need some time for the oil to settle and get into the right position that will allow it to work as well as it should. This usually takes around 2 hours if your fridge was transported in a straight position or 4 hours if it wasn’t.

A Summarized Guide on What To Do Before Putting Food in Your New Fridge

To make matters easier, we provide you with a summarized guide on what steps you should follow to start using your new fridge the right way. Take a look at the list below to find out what to do before loading your fridge:

1. Clean It

clean fridge

The first thing you should do is clean your fridge. You may think that the fridge is already clean since it is brand new, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

There are certain chemicals used by manufacturers when packing the fridge and transporting it, and they could be harmful and toxic when mixed with your food. That is why you should use soapy water to thoroughly clean your new refrigerator before using it.

2. Plug It In

Now that you have your fridge clean and ready to go, it’s time to plug it in. Remember that you must wait for 2 to 4 hours before doing so.

3. Check the Temperature

Refrigerator temperature

The final step before loading your food is to check the temperature. You need to make sure that your fridge reaches 40 °F or below before you put your groceries into it, so keep checking until you see the desired temperature.

4. Load It

Once you see that your fridge reached the desired temperature, you can load your food into it. Organize your produce and other items however you want to, but make sure that your frozen foods go into the freezer compartment.

Also, note that your freezer should reach the temperature of 0°F to keep your frozen food good.


Organizing your food and loading your fridge can be a fun activity, but you need to make sure that you follow certain guidelines if you want it to work properly.

To avoid any issues related to your food going bad or your fridge working improperly, follow the steps we listed in our guide and you’re golden!